All posts filed under: Stability

The Frustration of Personal Budgeting.

It can be incredibly frustrating to hear someone give you advice on your finances. Although well intentioned, the solution often floated is that you simply need to live within your means in order to find financial stability. Of course this makes sense, however, the problem is that many of us don’t have enough working cash flow in order to make ends meet. In this scenario, this advice becomes frustrating at best, insulting at worst. To be clear, I do believe that budgeting is the best strategy to finding financial freedom, however, it’s not as simple as someone waving a magic “manage your finances and all will be well,” wand. Here are some strategies to help you figure out the steps to finding financial stability. Set a budget: Knowledge is power and a well thought out budget will help you think about how much you’re spending each months. The more important aspect of your budget is how much you’re making. Understanding your income and where it comes from is incredibly important. Tip: I highly recommend You Need A Budget. Check …

Financial Stability: What is an hour of your time actually worth?

One of the biggest challenges you will face as an artist is attaining financial stability. It is very possible to find financial stability, but nobody seems to share strategies for thinking about how you go about developing a sustainable career. The Challenge I get it. I know that quite often, you find ourself taking work that is both artistically and financially beneath you, which is frustrating because it takes you away from the work in which you are most passionate. The result is that often, your art becomes uninspiring and unfulfilling. Instead of blindly taking every opportunity that comes your way, the challenge is to crunch the numbers and set some basic limits to what you will and won’t take. Let’s dig in a little on some strategies you can use as you work to establish the value of an hour of your time. Process In this world, knowledge is power. I’ve created this spreadsheet to help you out. Click on the link to create a side by side comparison of your jobs, including all artistic and non-artistic …

Thoughts on launching a successful private lesson studio.

Here’s a question I received last week: Hi Nate, I’m moving to a new city and I’d like to quickly recruit 5-10 students into my private clarinet studio.  What suggestions do you have for getting started? Here is my process for launching a private studio in a new town: Be committed to teaching—The most important part of building a successful studio is that you must be dedicated to teaching. I have seen far too many artists form a studio, only to work half-heartedly with their students because they’re only teaching for the money. Tip, if you’re only building a studio for the money, don’t do it.  There are far better ways to spend your time. If you are committed to building a studio and becoming the best teacher in the city, go all in and commit to improving yourself for every lesson.  Build a website—Your website is your business card and setting up a site is very easy. I like Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace. If you have a good photo, your bio, and teaching philosophy statement, …

5 Books for artists seeking stability

In general, I tend to be more action oriented than planning oriented, which explains the post I wrote yesterday. Instead of contemplating the change I’d like to see in my life or career, I often find myself identifying actionable steps to get results. In order to create the steps necessary for change, it is incredibly important to gather information about how to take the next steps in my life.  It is through the information gathering process that the best ideas come forward. Below you will find some resources that I use on a regular basis as I help others find stability in their lives. All of the items are also listed on my resources page within this site. Resources: Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life–An incredible book that helps you think about a balanced, fulfilling life. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!–This book changed my life when I read it 10 years ago and has been in my head …

Finding Stability as an Artist

Here’s a question that came from one of my readers: As an artist 10 years into my career, I am making things work both financially and artistically, but I continue to be interested in finding artistic work that allows me to be upwardly mobile. Can you give me some advice for finding stability? This question often comes up as I guide artists. On one hand, artists who approach mid-career are often faced with growing financial challenges, including the support of a family, house payments, and continuing to pay off college loans. On the other hand, many artists are truly in pursuit of stability in their art, seeking higher quality and more artistically satisfying opportunities for performance. The pursuit of stability brings up an interesting dichotomy: Search for a financially stable life and risk sacrificing your artistic output; Search for an artistically stable life, and you risk sacrificing financial stability. Like the featured photo on this post, the challenge we all face is how to strike a balance between the two. Here is a three step process …